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>>> breaking news we have been telling you about. pope benedict xvi resigning february 28th. he is citing ill health. and uncertainty what that ill health will be. we're trying to get more details. unprecedented. >> hasn't happened in 600 years. so many questions. so much now that needs to happen with electing the new pope. we'll bring you the information coming up on "starting point" a few seconds from now. that's "early start." i'm john berman. >> i'm sfwlor azoraida sambolin. "starting point" with soledad o'brien starts right now. >>> we begin with breaking news. pope benedict xvi resigning. age and fatigue are the reasons behind his resignation. here is what the statement reads in part "both strength of mind and body are necessary. strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that i have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me." this tweet came from the pope's account 23 hours ago. we must trust in the mitty power of god's mercy. we are all sinners, but his grace transforms us and makes us new. this woul
in modern times think resignation is acceptable or not. pope benedict said, in fact, made it very clear that being able to resign was acceptable and made this part of the statement released from the vatican, both strength of mind and body is necessary, and lots of questions, of course. we know the date he would be stepping down, which would be february 28th. many questions about why now? mep notice that the pope is much more frail in recent months, and the question would be unbelie unbelievably unusual. let's go to nic robertson joining us by phone. nic, lots of questions. nic live in london this morning. a bit of a stunner. was there any indication that this resignation was coming? >> absolutely none whatsoever, and the last few months, the pope started a twitter account, not what you expect the pope to do when he would say his pope is deteriorating. the pope has looked deep into his conscience, this is a personal and profound decision that he has made with god in light of the responsibilities he has. and the other thing we heard from the papal spokesperson, which is interesting, becau
the world. pope benedict xvi stepping down at the end of the month. he says because of his advanced age. he's no longer able to handle the demands of being pope. the last pope to resign was way back in 1415, i will have much more of what happens next. and what is ahead for the catholic church. >>> and former navy s.e.a.l. who reportedly fired the shot that killed osama bin laden, he says he has no pension, no medical insurance, according to an article in esquire magazine, the man known only as the soter packed a train to protect his family from al qaeda terrorists seeking revenge. i will talk with investigative reporter who talked to that navy s.e.a.l. in a few minutes. and the u.s. coast guard coming down to the rescue to help a cruise strip stranded in the gulf of mexico. more than 4200 passengers and crew all stuck on a carnival cruise line try ump that is getting as can you imagine a little funky, a little uncomfortable. a woman on board tells us that the toilets not working any more. a fire broke out on the ship yesterday, and was headed back to texas. that ship will be towed to the ne
worth $48,000. >> ben tracy, thanks. >>> pope benedict steps down on thursday. yesterday he gave his final sunday blessing and defended his decision to retire. this morning the pope changed the conclave rules allowing the cardinals to hold the conclave earlier than normal. and there is news surrounding one of the cardinals who was set to help pick benedict's successor. alan pizzey is in have the can city. >> reporter: more troubles for the vatican and the conclave. cardinal keith o'brien of scotland announced he was resigning and would not take part in the conclave to announce benedict's successor. he was accused of what's called inappropriate contact with four young priests some 30 years ago. the cardinal denies the allegations but said he was not taking part in the conclave so as not to detract from the major issue of choosing pope benedict's successor. that brings the number of voting cardinals down to 115. benedict told the faithful who came to his last sunday blessing that he was not abandoning the church but doing what was best to serve it. in his words, in a
leaders say those increases are unacceptable. >>> pope benedict has three more days as leader of the catholic church. he delivered a service in a packed st. peters square. he will officially step down at 8:00 p.m. on thursday. pope benedict resigns amid rumors of a sex scandal, such as gay priests being blackmailed. >>> the end of the castro era in cuba, in sight. raul castro says he plans on stepping down in 2018, which is the end of his second term. fidel castro's 81-year-old brother made the announcement sunday, shortly after the country's national assembly elected him to a second five-year term. as for a possible successor? raul castro says cuba's first vice president, miguel diaz, is part of a new generation that will provide the future leadership of that country. >>> high school administrators in grant forks, north dakota, are investigating a shocking incident. three students showed up for a state hockey tournament on friday, wearing ku klux klan-style hoods. a photo of the three was posted to twitter. generated a lot of outrage. school officials have contacted the paren
. here is more on that. >> reporter: one day after he peered out his window for the final time benedict xvi changed the rules for the conclave. vatican insiders say it's not a moment too soon. they are are claims that benedict stepped because down of the gay priests and blackmail in a dossier. cardinal o'brien today resigned and cardinal mahoney is accused of concealing the crimes of pedophile priests but he will help choose the next pope but abuse victims call that an outarrangement cardinal o'brien said himself that they should look outside of the box and he thinks he's that maybe the pope should be selected from cardinals from africa and latino america where the church is showing growth. it's odd that those progressive words will not be part of this conclave, but other words that o'brien has used over and over by anti-homosexual anti-gay marriage, it's the rhetoric that the church is finding difficult to countenance as they try to become a worldwide body. we would like to talk about this with someone who has had experience with the catholic church barbara blaine. founder and presiden
benedict steps down on thursday. yesterday he gave his final sunday blessing and defended his position to retire and there's news this morning surrounding one of the cardinals who helped pick benedict's successor and the pope has changed the conclave rules to hold the conclave earlier than normal. allen pizzey is in vatican city. >> reporter: more troubles for the vatican city and the conclave. it was announced he was resigning and would not take part. cardinal o'brien is the focus of atense because he's been accused of inappropriate contact with four young priests some 30 years ago. the cardinal denies the allegations but said he was not taking part in the conclave so as not to detract from the conclave to choose pope benedict's successor. that brings the number down to 115. benedict told the faithful who came to his last sunday blessing that he was not abandoning the church but doing what was best to serve it in a way more suitable to my age and my strength. certainly the scandal that keeps erupting would tax the strength of any 85-year-old. even before ben dig
, soledad. breaking news as pope benedict xvi entering his final days as leader of the catholic church, britain's top cardinal, keith o'brien stepping down. this following accusations that o'brien abused young men studying for the priest hood and amid italian media reports that the pope is stepping down due to a vatican involving priests and male prostitutes. becky anderson is live with more. good morning, becky. >> they say a week is a long time in politics, but an hour is a long time in politic there. there is a news briefing going on for journalists as we speak. i'll get you as many of the lines out of that as i can. bombshells coming sort of right, left and scepter this morning out of vatican. let's start with that breaking news on the top brit tissue cardinal. cardinal keith o'brien who has resigned. the pop has declared that today. we are told he talked about his resignation to the pope back in november. he was of ailing health and at 75 he thought he should go. but his resignation hasn't been announced, nor was it going to be until his birthdate on march 15th. as of today, the t
and apple. >> less than a week until pope benedict 16 steps down. those who will choose the next pope are coming under scrutiny. we have the unfolding drama from anne thompson in rome. >> reporter: good morning, alex. pope benedict is back at work and appointed new bishops for mexico and at the valt ctican, are readying for huge crowds for final public events. in the meantime, many unanswered questions about the historic transition, such as who will lead the church? a week before pope benedict retires and there is still no clear front-runner to can you seed him. however, there is a long shot. new york's greg farruous cardinal timothy dolan. >> i will get anything to get you guys to church. >> reporter: praise in catholic circles to his perno apersona ad h h fightback on the obama plan for contracepti contraception. >> he's a known quantity and man of integrity. known as someone who can communicate the catholic faith positively. >> reporter: here in rome, another cardinal, roger mahoney, retired archbishop of los angeles is under fire for his role for moving and shielding priests. maho
false would if italian publications claim pope benedict decided to resign the same day he received an explosive report on a gay lobby lurking in the vatican. cnn's senior international correspondent ben wedeman is in rome. >> they are blasting in uncharacteristically strong terms, fredricka, are these reports, reports that appeared in a daily newspaper, "la repubblica" and a week live magazine panorama which suggests that indeed this group of three cardinals who were assigned by pope benedict to look into wrongdoing in the vatican found or allegedly uncovered, according to these publications a network of gay priests within the vatican who were being blackmailed according to these reports by a network of male prostitutes in rome. now, the vatican is roundly denying that these reports taking place, accusing the italian media of trying to influence the conclave, that group of 116 cardinals who will be meeting in the next few weeks in rome or rather in the vatican city to elect the next pope. fredricka in. >> in general, are people taking this report seriously throughout rome, or is th
, include iing some rules from pope benedict that change how they pick his replacement. >> the pope has given the cardinals permission to move up the start date of the conclave which will choose his successor. a cardinal that has been in the headlines for the past 24 hours for all the wrong reasons decides to resign and says he's not coming to the conclave. all this is happening while the faithful celebrate the end of benedict's papacy. even in his final days as pope, scandal continues to dog benedict's papacy and the church. headline rumors of blackmail and conspiracy that the vatican vehemental vehemently denies. because of his role protecting abusive priests, decide to stay home. and cardinal o'brian. >> someone has erred in some way or another, it doesn't salt their judgment. >> reporter: today he resigned. ugly headline that is one vatican watcher says will shape the deliberations of the conclave. >> some of this is politics but other parts of it are the long-delayed reckoning with problems that require face iingd correcting in the church. >> reporter: the scandals have left many o
that there could be an american pope. is that a long shot? >> no, it's not. the field is wide open. pope benedict xvi said when he resigned there are pressing questions, urgent questions and the united states is taking it up. i believe that's pretty possible. >> when you talk about americans, certainly cardinal o'malley of boston because he is seen as someone who has cleaned house from the sex abuse scandal, do you think the new pope must be a reformer must have a record of reform when it comes to the sex abuse scandal? >> the sex abuse scandal was a terrible scourge on the church and on the world and certainly we need a leader who will continue to uncover the sexual scandals, deal with them effectively, and remove those who have caused these scandals. certainly someone like cardinal o'malley who has dealt with the crisis in boston head on is needed to take the church forward for the good of the church and the good of the world. >> hue much political trading takes place with this in the way they reach a decision until you have to bring factions together and trade bac
about 100 miles north of tokyo. no damage reported at nuclear plants. >>> pope benedict, in his final week of his papacy. his resignation becomes official on thursday. about 100,000 people were there for his final sunday blessing. today, he's expected to issue new rules allowing the cardinals to bring forth the start of the conclave which will elect the next pope. >>> to washington, where it's four days until the automatic spending cuts kick in. the president is warning about devastating consequences. still, there's no deal on the table. tahman bradley reports from washington. >> reporter: democrats and republicans are set to introduce proposals to stop the across the board spending cuts. neither side thinks a bill can get through congress before friday's deadline. >> unless the republicans are willing to compromise, and do a balanced approach, i think it will kick in. >> it will kick in. >> reporter: president obama is turning up pressure on congressional republicans with his administration details how the program cuts will affect spending in every state. >> thousands of educators wi
turned out to the oscar party. in downtown san rafael, sergio quintana, abc news. >> pope benedict gave his blessing in vatican city as the rumors swirled over his sudden resignation. >> the pope gave thanks to the crowd of 100,000 in saint peter's square. on thursday pope benedict will become the first to resign in 600 years. he will live in a monistary. the pontif is stepping down because of a sex and blackmail scandal that is about to be made public. a man connected to the catholic church's sex scandal is on his way to rome to help pick the successor. cardinal roger mahoney tweeted he will keep followers informed of the proceedings. this morning mahoney spent hours being deposed on a sex abuse alaskan del that -- on a sex abuse scandal on his watch. he has apologized for his actions. >>> a reward has been set up for a missing bay area couple traveling in peru. abc7 news reporter lilian kim with more on that story. >> it has been a month since thib has heard from them. and the co-workers are now taking action. they set up a reward fund that has grown to $3,000 for information leading
cardinal keith o'brien will not take part in the conclave to choose the successor of pope benedict. he was accused of inappropriate conduct. the conclave is scheduled to begin earlier than originally thought. pope benedict remarked that he will be serving the church in a more appropriate way for his age. >>> nascar ended sunday with jimmie johnson winning his second daytona 500. danica patrick, who made history as first woman to start a sprint cup race from the pole position finished in eighth place. saturday, though, a spectacular crash during the nascar race at that same track sent debris into the stands, injuring more than it two dozen spectators. more legal troubles for the pistorius family this morning as it's revealed that the so-called blade runner's older brother is facing vehicular manslaughter charges for the death of a woman in a 2008 traffic accident. meantime, oscar pistorius is free on bail as he awaits trial for his murder charges in the death of girlfriend reeva steenkamp. >>> secretary of state john kerry is meeting with british officials in london today on his first o
benedict begins his final work as leader of the world's roman catholics. >>> plus, a cnn exclusive. you will meet the real americans whose rescue from iran inspired the oscar-winning movie "argo." i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >>> we're only four days away from billions of dollars in forced budget cuts. this afternoon, members of congress are finally back on capitol hill. president obama meanwhile welcomed the nation's governors to the white house. but is anybody looking for a real compromise that will avoid the chaos scheduled to hit this friday? our search for answers begins with our national political correspondent jim acosta. what's the latest, jim? >> reporter: wolf, if anything, both sides sound like they are digging in. the white house is accusing republicans of putting schools and the health of young children at risk. meanwhile, the republicans are accusing the obama administration of trying to scare people. >> welcome, everybody. >> reporter: speaking to a meeting of the nation's governors, president obama said if congre
." this week marks pope benedict's last as head of the catholic church. benedict gave his final sunday blessing to a crowd of 100,000 faithful followers yesterday in st. peter's square, telling them he is not abandoning the church and that he will continue to serve god. meanwhile, cardinal keith o'brien, the head of the church in scotland, has announced that he is stepping down amid accusations of inappropriate and intimate behavior with current and former priests. the pope has reportedly accepted cardinal o'brien's resignation. >> god, mike, i tell you what. whoever the next pope is, they need to go on an all-out hunt. just no matter how ugly it gets. that actually could have been pope benedict's grand legacy over seven years. >> and it's not going to be. >> it's not going to be. >> no. they need to open the windows of the vatican. they need to let a cleansing ear come through, they need to clean out a lot of things. they need to be much more open about the vatican bank and the finances of the vatican and the conduct and behavior of priests and higher ranking members of the hierarchy. >> if th
the papal election campaign is getting ugly. today, pope benedict is expected to announce new rules about the conclave. he can do it by dedegree. the pope is an absolute monarch. the vatican is accusing the press corps of being the modern day borges. these day, the italian parps read like dan brown novel. detailing a sex and blackmail scandal involving the curia. there's some truth to it. last year, the pope formed an investigative commission. these three men, referred to as the 007 cardinals. the pope's butler stole classified documents. they gave the pope a report. only he and they not what's in it. >> you get tons of rumors and all these whispers. most of them are not true. >> reporter: at the same time, the very real church sex abuse scandal, casting a shadow over l.a.'s roger mahoney and other cardinals. should morally tainted cardinals be allowed to help choose the new pope. the pope has announced new rules. the bottom line is the cardinals will not have to wait the 15 days they would have waited before. but the timing of the conclave will be up to them. george? >> thank you, david
are facing pressure and criticism for alleged cases of sexual abuse. all that comes as pope benedict gets ready to resign on thursday. an estimated 100,000 people were at the vatican for benedict's final appearance is scheduled for wednesday to general audience. >>> the pope might be aging, but he's not as old as this guy. he's 101 years old. we're telling you about him only because he's finally hanging up his competitive running shoes at 101. >> remarkable. he's known as the world's oldest marathoner. yesterday he finished the last ten kilometers of the marathon in hong kong. as far as competing, he says it's time to retire, but he adds he might run again to raise money for charities. he's 101 years old. >> and by the way, he only took up running when he was 89 years old as a way to overcome the death of his wife and son, which happened in quick succession. a runner? >> i'll treadmill at the gym, but that's about it. >> congratulations at doing that at 101, things i can don't at 32. >> makes me think there might be a marathon in my future. >> when you turn 89. >> i'll wait until i'm 89.
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macfarlane is hosting. it should be funny. >>> about 100,000 packed st. pet peter's quer. pope benedict told the faithfuls he would not abandon the church. i understand there seems to be a new complication involving one of the key cardinals playing a role in choosing a new pope. tell us about the new wrinkle, if you will. >> reporter: it looks like a day doesn't go by without a cardinal being implicated into a scandal of sexual nature. we heard of cardinal mahoney of los angeles and sean brady of ireland being implicated of cover ups. today was the day of cardinal keith o'brien from scotland who is the highest cleric in the catholic church of britain. he is being accused by a number of priests, three priests and a former cleric of inappropriate conduct or inappropriate behavior that is believed to be of sexual nature about 30 years ago. the vatican hasn't reacted to those allegations that were made today. a source goes and says that the pope is being briefed about the new scandal this afternoon. in the meantime as it happened for cardinal mahoney and cardinal brady public opinions against th
... [ giggling ] >>> an estimated >>> an estimated 100,000 people turned out for pope benedict's final sunday blessing. he spoke to the crowd from his apartment overlooking st. peter's square, and he said he's retiring to spend his final years in prayer. the 85-year-old pontiff has one more public appearance on wednesday. and then on thursday he steps down. >>> in cuba, the rule of the castro brothers, which began in 1959, now has an end date. raul castro says he will step down as president in 2018. the 81-year-old said someday this will be his final five-year term. he also said he hopes to establish term limits and age caps for political office. miguel diaz canal was named his vice president and will most likely replace castro when he retires. >>> and the older brother of olympic star oscar pistorius is now facing his own homicide charges. carl pistorius facing a 2008 road accident where a woman was killed. the charges were dropped and reinstated. his brother oscar was released on bail friday. he's accused of killing his girlfriend on valentine's day. >>> on the "cbs
to rome to see pope benedict xvi. he gave his final blessing on a sunday to a massive crowd at the vatican. he will make his final public pier rance wednesday and official stlips down thursday. the cardinals will decide when to begin the conclave. archbishop washington will help choose the new hope but he doubts it will be an american. >> i don't think it will be who is supposed to be reminding them the responsibility to build peace. >> they hope to have the new hope in place by holy week. >> jimmy johnson does it again at daytona. >> the daytona 500 goes to jimmy johnson five time champion from california. >> congrats to him. johnson starting the season with his second win at daytona. he is the 10th driver to do that. the first women winning the poll for daytona that is the highest finish ever for a woman. that's your 5 at 5:00. >> heather is the new car racing expert around here. >> the area hit by a blizzard while many are recovering a record breaking snowstorm. they are expected to drop another foot of snow on areas stretching from texas to kansas. big concern the road conditions. mari
benedict xvi steps down. two italian papers say the reason he's leaving has nothing to do with his health and much more so to do with his explosive 300 page report. among the allegations here, secrets about a network of gay priests blackmailed by a group of male prostitutes. but, the vatican says the contents of this report will, as they say, remain for the pope's eyes only. >> the holy father has decided that the acts of this investigation known only to himself remain solely at the disposition of the new pope. >> and as you can imagine, the fallout is going global. today, one of the uk's highest ranking catholic leaders resigned as he's dogged by accusations of sexual abuse. i want to go straight to christiane amanpour, live tonight in rome. tell me what exactly is cardinal keith o'brien accused of and what does his resignation thus mean for the vote for the next pope? >> reporter: well, look, brooke, here we are standing in front of st. peter's, right there, the heart of the vatican. as you say, they are in damage control and they really did not expect that the last few days of the pope
of benedict's papacy, while scandal and intrigue engulf some of the men who will choose the next pope. even in his final days as pope, scandal continues to dog benedict's papacy and the church. italian newspapers headline rumors of blackmail and conspiracy that the vatican vehemently denies. american cardinal roger mahony has ignored calls to stay home from a conclthat chooses the next pope because of his role protecting abusive priests. scottish cardinal keith o'brien, who commented on mahony's situation last week. >> someone has erred and we have anoth another. >> reporter: today cardinal o'brien resigned after being accused by three priests and former priest of inappropriate behavior going back to the 1980s. ugly headlines that one vatican watcher says will shape the deliberations of the conclave. >> some of this is politics, but other parts of it are the long delayed, reckoning with problems that require facing and correcting in the church. >> reporter: the scandals have left many of the faithful weary. >> i'm a true believer and i hope that catholics will get a better name these days.
in the conclave. the 85-year-old pope benedict xvi gave his final sunday blessing and has one more public appearance later this week. >>> in afghanistan, president hamid karzai is ordering all u.s. special forces out of a key eastern province within two weeks. he alleges afghans are working alongside the special forces helping to torture, abuse and even murder civilians in the province. the u.s. military rejected any suggestion that its special forces carried out any such crime. >>> a memorable night at the oscars but not just for the big winners. host seth mcfarlane is getting a lot of praise this morning. from laughs to jabs, we'll take a closer look at how the funny man opened hollywood's biggest night.  that is next. xt. >>> argo tells the previously classified story about an american hostage rescue in post revolutionary iran. the story was so top secret that the fill's director is unknown to the academy. on the movie, worked on the movie,. >> first time oscar host seth macfarlane earning plenty of laughs last night. argo would go to win the night's top honor
the allegations in his resignation. new today pope benedict xvi changed the rules allowing the college of cardinals to begin the process to elect a successor sooner than planned. he waiveded the usually 15-day transition period and said the conclave can begin when all the cardinals arrive after he steps down on thursday. the archbishop from washington is already in rome. he will say good-bye to the pope and elect his successor. the cardinal celebrated a mass for the pope at the basilica at the shrine of the immaculate conception in northeast washington. ÔÖ¬ >> a one of a kind performance at a historic event. psy performed at his native country south korea's inauguration sunday. the inaugural honors the first ever female president. tens of thousands of people filled the streets of seoul, south korea, to witness the historic day. >> i didn't see her join in. >> she just watched psy do his thing. >> one of the hottest things to come out of that country. >> ever. >> as far as music for sure. tom, what's going on with the weather? it's nice and sunny. looks pretty. >> the sun angle getting
. >>> so one week from today, the roman catholic church will be without a pope. pope benedict xvi is resigning. cnn's brian todd is here in "the situation room" with more. so what happens in the interim. he resigns before a new pope is elected? >> that's right. the game of who's in charge and who's next is in full swing. the vatican is being opaque right now but we do know of some key players to watch. it's palace intrigue in overdrive with benedict xvi leaving, who will take over the vatican until a new pope is elected? an administrator that deals with fi n fi nans, portrayed as an evil master power broker. in real life, the title is held by a powerful position of secretary of state who in the vatican is like a prime minister. experts say don't get the idea that bertoni is the face of a legend. >> he's not the best organizer? >> no. the joke in rome is he couldn't organize a one-man band. >> michael shawn winters says bertoni was damaged in the scandal when mismanaged and corruption was leaked. despite his current status, he has no shot of becoming pope. analysts say he's also a
on the way to see pope benedict the 16th. sunday he gave his final blessing to a massive crowd. he'll make a final appearance wednesday and officially step down thursday. then the cardinal will decide when to pick the next pope. >> i don't think it will be seen as a very good thing if the pope who is supposed to be reminding them of their responsibilities to build peace. >>gretchen: the vatican plans to have the new pope in place by holy week. hamid karzai kicking troops out of a crucial region. he ordered special forces to leave the province outside kabul in two weeks over abuse claims. afghan security officials claim afghan troops are harassing, torturing and killing innocent people in villages. karzai demands the u.s. hands over individuals involved. the u.s. is investigating the claims. >> jimmy johnson does it again at daytona. >> the daytona 500 goes to jimmy johnson, five-time champion. >>gretchen: johnson starting the season with his second win at daytona, the tenth driver to do that. danica patrick, the first woman to win, finished eighth. saturday's crash still on everyone's mind
, it was a very frail and tired looking pope benedict xvi who addressed tens of thousands of pilgrim house are gathered in the square at st. peter's behind me to hear what was the pope's last public blessing. he had said sensationally only a week and a half ago that he was resigning because he was of ailing health and that he was too old for the job. but now, questions around who knew what when storm clouds gathering over the roman catholic church. the italian media is abuzz with allegations that a network of gay clerics have made themselves vulnerable to blackmail from male prostitutes. the vatican has responded to those allegations by saying, and i quote, "it's deplorable that as the time for the roman catholic church to elect a new pope approaches," talking, of course, to the conclave, "a rash often invented, unverifiable or completely false news stories has appeared." to add to this, british media public stories about the top scottish cleric and only eligible british cardinal for conclave reporting that four priests, three current priests and one former priest, are alleging inappropria
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